Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 343–355

Impact of a brief intervention on physical activity and social cognitive determinants among working mothers: a randomized trial


DOI: 10.1007/s10865-013-9492-y

Cite this article as:
Mailey, E.L. & McAuley, E. J Behav Med (2014) 37: 343. doi:10.1007/s10865-013-9492-y


Working mothers exhibit high levels of inactivity, and theory-based interventions to bolster physical activity within this population are needed. This study examined the effectiveness of a brief social cognitive theory-based intervention designed to increase physical activity among working mothers. Participants (N = 141) were randomly assigned to an intervention only, intervention plus follow-up support, or waitlist control condition. The intervention consisted of two group-based workshop sessions designed to teach behavior modification strategies using social cognitive theory. Data were collected at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up. Results showed intervention participants exhibited short-term increases in physical activity, which were partially maintained 6 months later. Improvements in physical activity were mediated by increases in self-regulation and self-efficacy. This study provides some support for the effectiveness of a brief intervention to increase physical activity among working mothers. Future programs should explore alternative support mechanisms which may lead to more effective maintenance of initial behavior changes.


Working mothers Exercise adherence Social cognitive theory Physical activity Self-efficacy Goal setting 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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